International American Council

International American Council
Middle East and North Africa

The Tragedy of children Born into the Royal Family in Qatar

The Tragedy of children Born into the Royal Family in Qatar

By Sarah Sorbon

While Qatar has been painted in recent years as a beacon of modern civilization, and continues to insist that it supports the protection of human rights, one woman’s story of the abduction of her husband and torment of her family, reveals a much different truth.

The horror began for Asma Arian in 2007, when she became the wife of Sheikh Talal Bin Abdul Aziz AL Thani. Her husband is the son of one of the founding fathers of Qatar. As a result, he is considered a direct threat to the current government of Qatar. Any person who has the potential right to rule in Qatar and threatens to make changes due to his belief or political leanings may become a target of the current rigid regime. Sheikh Talal was conspired against by the father of the current emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, who has led a media-oriented campaign to create an illusion of a modern and just Qatar.

Despite these claims of modern justice, and respect for human rights, they proceeded to con Sheikh Talal into believing that he would be given the benefits he is entitled to, and lured him and his family to Qatar, under the guise of signing papers that would provide them a stable and good life. Instead, he was tricked into relinquishing all of his rights, and as if stripping him bare was not enough, he was arrested, permanently sullying his reputation. Though his wife and child fled, they were hunted down, and forced to live in a filthy environment infested with bugs. Though the family endured illness, they were refused any form of medical care.

Sheikh Talal’s wife fought to have their story heard, and tried to work with the justice system, but courts denied her attempts without even reviewing the documentation she provided. While she and her children suffered in their own version of a prison, she lay awake knowing that her husband was being tortured for no crime other than his name. Now, even after all the injustice she and her family have suffered, is the time for her voice to be heard, not just by all of Qatar, but by the international community that may be her only hope.

“I am a German woman with four children. We are paying a heavy price for an old, petty grievance towards the father of my husband, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Hamad. This spitefulness is coming from the former emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa, and his son, the current Emir of Qatar, Tamim. This cascading pettiness has caused a continuing series of egregious, inhuman acts of injustice against my husband Sheikh Talal, who has suffered more than six years in the prisons of Qatar, enduring endless torture and oppression without any regard for his rights, his humanity, or the application of law. The Qatari regime is committed to the worst forms of injustice and torment that they could possibly inflict upon a human being.”

Is this what is considered support for the protection of human rights? Does the international community not have an obligation to take a stand against this abduction and torture of an innocent family?


Asma Rayan with Mahmoud Al-Nisour, head of the Middle East and North Africa division of the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


On March 7,2019 a conference was heldat the “Club Suisse de la Press”in Geneva.Asma Rayan, the wife of Sheikh Talal bin Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, with her four children, in “Club Suisse de la Press”

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